Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Editor ignores the pain all around him

Passaic River in eastern Essex CountyImage via Wikipedia
Dioxins aren't evident in this photo of the Passaic River in Essex County.

Editor Francis Scandale is a lot more comfortable dramatizing events on the other side of the world than reporting on what his readers are experiencing every day.

Contrast the large photo of African famine on The Record's front page today with the lack of local reporting on the widening wealth gap between whites, blacks and Hispanics -- a shocking story he buried on Page L-7 on Tuesday.

Readers know Scandale gave the boot to the paper's only Hispanic and black columnists, and that the departure of Staff Writer Liz Llorente has meant fewer stories about North Jersey's Latino community.

But this well-off white guy -- who works for a filthy rich, white publisher -- has no shame in showing his true color when it comes to covering minorities.

And if he is going to put a famine photo on the front page, why would this editor or any editor shy away from the one of a 7-pound, 7-month-old near skeleton that was relegated to A-9 today? 

Why wasn't this photo on Page 1? Too shocking for your readers, Francis?

Freedom to pollute

The upbeat A-1 story on the cleanup of the Passaic River never explains why it took more than 40 years for the battle to reach Superior Court ("Company found liable for river cleanups"). 

Nor does it tell readers the suit likely will drag on in the courts for two or three more years before the polluters have to pay anything. 

And would you look at that nonsensical drop headline from Liz Houlton's news copy desk, "Dioxin bill could cost hundreds of millions." Does a bill "cost" money?


New Jersey officials have jumped through hoops for decades to subvert the state Supreme Court's Mount Laurel rulings and keep poor people out of their towns, but you wouldn't know that from James Ahearn's obit for the Council on Affordable Housing (A-11).

Stepping in where head Assignment Editor Deirdre Sykes refuses to go, another OpEd column today details the impact of Governor Christie's budget cuts on children and working families in Englewood, Teaneck, Hacensack and Fort Lee (A-11).

Three cheers for Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, who wrote the column, and a chorus of boos for the clueless local assignment editors.

After a break to write about pets left in hot cars, Road Warrior Columnist John Cichowski returns today to beating the dead horse of long lines at MVC offices (L-1). 

You wouldn't know from his campaign that readers have to go to an MVC office only once every four years, and can conduct other business by mail.

Stuff your face

Just in time for the obesity epidemic, Food Editor Susan Leigh Sherrill devotes her single recipe of the week to mixed-berry streusel pie, which is made with a stick and a half of butter, cream cheese and sugar (F-1).

In his Sunday column on supermarket promotions and food shopping in North Jersey, Staff Writer Kevin DeMarrais completely ignores Korean supermarkets and such warehouse stores as Costco Wholesale in Bergen, Passaic and Morris counties.

The Korean markets are especially strong on produce and fresh fish, while Costco's balance of low prices, high quality and variety can't be matched by any other food store.

At least his Your Money's Worth column appears to contain the paper's first acknowledgement of a decision to sell land in Hackensack to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

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